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As Markets Roil, A Rush To Gold: A Reported Poem

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
August 11, 2011

With world markets in turmoil, many investors are turning to an age-old safe haven: gold. While the price has fluctuated this week, it has flirted with record highs. But what, exactly, makes this precious metal so valuable? We decided to explore the issue, in verse:

Economic collapse, adrift without maps, lost in a sea with no rudder, Wall Street is jaded, the U.S. downgraded, financial reports make us shudder.

Believing the news, we soon will grow used to a new living standard — and poor Some blame Obama for some of the drama, others the Tea Party more.

The one shining star, of the season so far, the only success — truth be told: Standing out in the crowd, behind the dark cloud, a lining — not silver, but gold.

Historically gold has had a mystical hold on men and women alike: Gold diggers and dust, gold rushes and busts, gold bullion, Goldfinger, gold strike.

From Glenn Beck to Midas, proponents do chide us, gold is the only sure bet. Gaining value and bounce, nearly 2 grand per ounce, it’s now at its highest price yet.

But what is gold’s worth, once yanked from the earth? Is it really so useful and great? Can it help to cure cancer, or provide any answer, for tragedy, bloodshed or hate?

Patrick R. Taylor, a prof and emailer, at Colorado’s School of Mines Explains why gold matters, to the thin and fatcatters, in a few but well-chosen lines:

Gold comes, as a norm, in elemental form due to “resistance to oxidation.” Its value is, therefore, based on rarity, sure, and “as a hedge against inflation.”

But Warren E. Buffett, who sits on his tuffet, making cool millions all day In a Harvard address, quickly confessed, to him nothing golden can stay.

Gold’s “dug out of the ground. …Then we melt it down, dig another hole,” he said. Then “bury it again,” pay guards to defend. A Martian “would be scratching [his] head.”

Yet in tumultuous times, in calamitous climes, we are desperate for something to hold. With bonds being broken and stocks takin’ a pokin’, perhaps all that glistens is gold. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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